CNN host Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoTed Cruz mocks CNN over naked Chris Cuomo in wife’s yoga video Minneapolis mayor: No change in position on calls to defund police after being booed Trump says he believes Scarborough ‘got away with murder’ MORE pressed former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday over why more Republicans have not denounced as “racist” President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s tweets telling four minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin.
In an interview on “Cuomo Prime Time,” the GOP Kansas Senate hopeful denied that the wording of Trump’s tweets earlier this week were racist, and responded “I don’t know” when asked whether he would support Trump for president if Trump said publicly that he was racist.
“When the president said … that these congresswomen should go back to the crime-infested places from which they came, right?” Kobach said. “Well, where are those places? So in [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAttorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury How language is bringing down Donald Trump Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race MORE’s] case it’s the Bronx, in [Rep. Rashida] Tlaib’s case it’s Detroit, and in [Rep. Ilhan] Omar’s case that’s originally Somalia.”
Cuomo then interjected, noting that Trump did not say “places,” but rather “countries,” implying that three of the four women targeted by Trump — who also include Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Over 1,400 pro athletes, coaches call on Congress to back bill ending qualified immunity Biden’s right, we need policing reform now – the House should quickly take up his call to action MORE (D-Mass.) — were not born in America.
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“What would you do if the president said, ‘I am a racist, that’s why I said it’?” Cuomo asked later in the exchange.
“Then I would not defend him, because there is no excuse for racism in America,” Kobach responded.
“Would you still support him as president?” Cuomo fired back.
“Um, I don’t know, that would be a really tough question,” Kobach said.
“You have to think about it?” Cuomo responded incredulously. “You have to think about whether or not you would support a racist?”
.@ChrisCuomo: “What would you do if the President said, ‘I am a racist’?”
Kris Kobach: “Then I would not defend him.”
Cuomo: “Would you still support him as President?
Kobach: “Um. I don’t know.”
Cuomo: “You have to think about whether or not you would support a racist?” pic.twitter.com/cuNClycHtW
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 17, 2019
The exchange comes as Kobach has launched a bid for the GOP nomination for Kansas’s Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R). His bid is facing resistance from some members of the Republican Party establishment after his failed run for governor last year.
An outspoken supporter of Trump, Kobach previously served on the president’s now-shuttered voter fraud commission.